, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 451–463 | Cite as

Children’s understanding of large-scale mapping tasks: an analysis of talk, drawings, and gesture

  • Donna Kotsopoulos
  • Michelle Cordy
  • Melanie Langemeyer
Original Article


This research examined how children represent motion in large-scale mapping tasks that we referred to as “motion maps”. The underlying mathematical content was transformational geometry. In total, 19 children, 8- to 10-year-old, created motion maps and captured their motion maps with accompanying verbal description digitally. Analysis of the responses included a fine-grained coding of their drawing, oral description, and hand gestures used while describing. In addition, the classroom teacher (second author) also assessed the drawings and the oral responses. Results indicate that low achieving children produced fewer objects in their drawings, fewer gestures, and fewer verbal descriptions when engaging in a large-scale mapping task compared to high achieving children. Moreover, these children were found to use a series of connected small-scale maps to construct the larger-scale representation.


Children Drawing Dynamic Gesture Map Spatial Static Transformational geometry Verbal 



We would like to thank the school participants and Ms. Laaraib Khattak, our research assistant.


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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna Kotsopoulos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michelle Cordy
    • 3
  • Melanie Langemeyer
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Thames Valley District School BoardLondonCanada
  4. 4.Georgian CollegeBarrieCanada
  5. 5.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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